10 years at Belmont, bruise-free and brilliant.
I intended just to paste a review I'd written long ago, but reading it reminded me of the impact the school has made in my daughter's - and my own - life.
My child attended Belmont from preschool through sixth grade. Basically, with a brief exception in which we tried public school, I was personally present at Belmont Montessori at least once per school day (including summers) for ten years. In that decade there was one teacher whose behavior became inappropriate. The transgression was not abuse, but cultural intolerance, lack of interest in the students and general ineptitude. She is no longer employed by the school.
I am astounded by the outlandish accusations made in another review on this site. Certainly everyone has a right to their opinion - including critics with whom I may disagree - but portions of that post are just plain libel.
Of course sorting out the process to have the false statements removed would be a hassle for anyone, but the uncanny timing of this critique is particularly cruel... To knowingly post false information with the intent to harm is not just an opinion. And to slander a woman in mourning is not just in poor taste.
Belmont teachers do push children. Figuratively, anyway. As professional mentors they nudge (not shove) students to do their best, to learn, to grow in knowledge and to expand their horizons. I recall one pupil, literally non-verbal at enrollment, who progressed in two years to function at grade level. "Old school discipline" could never have worked that magic - only a fine educator who knew through experience how to balance challenge and nurture.
Oh, I could tell story after story... The point is that Belmont offers an exceptional education.
PS - Here's what I thought six years ago:
"My daughter has attended Belmont since she was 2. The individualized attention is unparalleled in any educational experiences of my friends or family. She is reading about three years above grade level, and at 8 years old she succinctly explained the second law of thermodynamics to me last week. She has classmates with multiple cultural and religious backgrounds. It's like Sesame Street with a better curriculum!"
Brother and a friend.
This school is great. My brother attended Belmont when he was younger and is a better adult for it.
Also a friends son who is an only child that was basically nonverbal. After two weeks was talking and interacting with other children as he should.
I thought that was great. Anyway I hope that this helps in your relocation to our city.
PLEASE DON'T TAKE YOUR CHILD HERE!!!.
At first, I thought this school was great. The old building, the small class sizes, and the price.
Well, there is reason for the small class sizes. This school can't keep kids because it is not an evironment fit for children.
The Director is an older lady. She is very nice and knowledgeable. However, she is what I would call "old school". She is not familiar with any of the new teaching concepts and certainly does not follow Montessori concepts.
At first, I thought my four year old was just being dramatic. She would cry every night when we picked her up and was almost vomitting before we took her in the morning. It turns out, she was terrified of the teachers.
They only got to talk to each other for 2 out of the 9 hours that she was there, other times had to be silent times. They did not talk during lunch. No daily sheets were given so you really don't know how your child was doing. You would see one teacher in the morning, another would come in to teach the "main class" at 9am and then you would see another teacher in the evening.
The kids were FORCED to eat everything that was given to them for lunch or for a party. Another parent even saw one of the teachers smacking a child's chin closed because she was crying and did not want to eat. When the child kept crying, the teacher smacked her chin closed again and the child bit her tounue.
The teachers regulary spank , push, and yell at the kids, even if the parents say, 'hands off my child".
Any way you look at it, these teachers are horrible. They have no business being with children all day. They don't even look or act like they enjoy their jobs.
Please, please, do not take your child here. Your child will hate school forever if they start their education at this place. Don't be fooled by the nice "old lady" that runs the place. She has no control over the other teachers and when another parent complained about the treatment of her child (she did not want her child spanked at nap time) she kicked those kids out of the school.
UPDATE: I saw a response to this post from a another person who accused me of libel. I would like to know how I can be accused of libel when I am not making any false statements. These incidents DID OCCUR either with my own eyes or through the eyes of another parent. Social Services even had to come in and check out the school. Please do not accuse me of libel if you have no idea whether I am making false statements or not. Just because YOUR CHILD was okay in this school and none of these things happened to her, does not mean that my child was not seriously affected by going there. She now has to see a counselor due to her time at Belmont. According to state standards, that is considered EMOTIONAL ABUSE.
And about the lady in mouring...I am so very sorry her husband passed. I cannot express my sympathies enough for her loss. Mrs. Swanson is a wonderful lady and I honestly beleive she loves children. However, I cannot stand by while I beleive children are being abused by the teachers.
If you beleive in corporal punishment for your child, then by all means, they will get a great education here. I do not judge people who prefer to spank their chidren for discipline and if you would like that type of punishment carried over to your child's school, then you would be very happy at this school.
For those of us who do not belive in spanking or slapping a childs chin shut so they will stop crying and eat, you would not be happy here.
Development and Diversity - A+!. This is not your average daycare, in fact it is no daycare at all. Belmont excels at providing a quality educational experience for children 2yrs through 6th grade. In addition, the class sizes are small, the selection and amount of extracurricular activities is wide, the teachers are well-trained, and the student population is diverse - an enriching experience for all.
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